I Appalachian women are, arguably, the most unacknowledged and undervalued segment of our region. But . . . that fact wasn’t always so, particularly in the matriarchal Cherokee tribe, where lineage was matrilineal (meaning the descent was determined through the female line), and where women were completely independent. They couldContinue Reading

A few years ago, I visited the Coal Creek Miners Museum in Rocky Top (formerly Lake City, formerly Coal Creek), Anderson County, Tennessee. The facility provides a historical glimpse into the lives of coal miners in the Fraterville and Briceville mines, particularly from the late 1800s to the 1930s. TheContinue Reading

We’ve come to the third and final post in a series about the Extraordinary Tanner family (See posts one and two.). Today, we’ll meet the trailblazing, tenacious Tanner women, who were exceptionally intelligent and highly successful in a time when women, especially African American women, weren’t afforded serious education orContinue Reading

A city in East Tennessee rests quite unobtrusive and timeless against a misty mountain backdrop. Historic architecture lines the old main street that once felt the drumbeat of a booming industry. Rocky Top was originally named Coal Creek. Pioneers first settled the area in the mid-1800s and found the banksContinue Reading